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1952 Mickey Mantle Signed Large-Format "Action" Display Photograph
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,115.00
Measuring a remarkable 21 x 24 inches, this extraordinary vintage display piece is not only one of the largest Mickey Mantle signed photographs in existence, but one that is also accompanied by a unique, incredibly well-documented, and extremely significant provenance. This display photograph was a special gift from Mantle to his sister in 1952. Remarkably, it is accompanied by a copy of a vintage print which we have located that pictures Mantle holding this very piece in 1952, taking it out of the trunk of his car just prior to giving the photographic display to his sister. This piece was sold years ago directly by Mantle's sister and is accompanied by a letter signed by her (signed "Barbara Mantle DeLise"). Its size and provenance aside, the image itself is spectacular. The photo captures Mantle sliding into home in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mantle obviously beat the throw, as the catcher is seen leaping high in the air to catch the ball and the umpire has just begun to give the safe call. On-deck batter Gene Woodling is pictured behind the umpire waving Mantle home. Mantle has inscribed the photo in blue fine-point marker (grading "10"), "Best Wishes Mickey Mantle." (Note: Mantle signed the photograph for his sister many years after giving it to her.) The photograph can be definitively dated to 1952 due to the presence of the circular 50th anniversary team patch on Mantle's left sleeve. Also, in the photo of Mantle holding this piece, he is pictured taking it out of the trunk of his car bearing a 1952 New Jersey license plate. Vintage display photographs of Mantle of this size and quality are virtually unheard of and this is certainly the largest we have ever seen or offered. 1952 was Mantle's first full season in the Majors and it came with the added pressure of having to replace Joe DiMaggio in center field. Despite the lofty expectations, Mantle passed the test with flying colors, batting .311 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI. That offensive production helped the Yankees to their fourth consecutive World Championship. The photo displays a six-inch diagonal tear (no paper loss) in the upper right corner, as well as a smaller tear and light creasing along the right border. In Very Good condition overall. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 31 x 34 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,115.00
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